5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Income (Without Working Overtime)

We could all use a little extra cash, especially if the income stream will last through retirement. Try these age-proof ways to start earning more money.

When it comes to your retirement, you know not to put all your eggs in one basket. Good news: That’s how rich people think. But when it comes to your current job, it also pays to follow the same strategy. Instead of getting one paycheck, wouldn’t be nice to bring home a few? 

Creating many income streams isn’t as difficult as it may sound. In her book Entrepreneurial You, marketing expert Dorie Clark suggests a few tips on how to make more money. Here are some ideas that can help you create extra income streams.

Start a blog

Writing a blog is one of many ways to make money fast. Aspiring Broadway actress Stefanie O’Connell needed to make more money while living in New York, so she started the blog “The Broke and the Beautiful Life,” in which she detailed the money lessons she had learned. She posted several times a week and eventually started writing posts for other blogs at $20 or so a pop. “For me, anything that was even twenty bucks, that was an hour I didn’t have to wait tables,” she said.

Clark followed a “ladder strategy” when it came to her writing career. She began by writing for her personal blog, and then she contacted her local papers like the Boston Business Journal. Over time, she built an impressive portfolio of articles, and she had plenty of ammo to share with editors of the large publications for which she now writes. Clark recommends making a list of small and large outlets for which you’d like to write. And then ladder-up just like she did.

Start a podcast

You can start a podcast to share your views with the world. In order to get started, Clark recommends listening to several podcasts in your field of interest on iTunes. Also check out the best podcasts you’re not following (but should) and try to pinpoint what makes them so successful and how you can apply those methods. Then ask yourself these questions: “How will yours be different?”, “What niche would you like your podcast to fill?”, and “What style would you like your podcast to be in? Friendly? Authoritative?” After you settle on your niche, make a spreadsheet and fill it with the top 20 guests that you would like to book. Then reach out to them. Once you start building an audience, advertisers will quickly follow and pay to be mentioned on your podcast.

Invest in dividend stocks

By investing in dividend stocks, you can make extra money with little effort. That’s because when you buy a stock that pays a dividend, you don’t have to do anything else. The company that you invested in will send you a check a few times a year. For example, a technology manager in Canada generates $1,200 each month from his investments in dividend stocks: “High-dividend stocks are my secret weapon,” he said. Famed investor Warren Buffet recommends buying shares of General Motor, IBM, Coca-Cola, Deere, and Wells Fargo, as they all pay dividends. Of course, your returns are subject to the stock’s performance in the market, but these blue-chip American companies should be solid over the years.

Content continues below ad

credit-cardSyda Productions/Shutterstock

Use cash-back credit cards

A cash-back credit card can give you a little extra monthly income. If you know you’re going to be spending regularly on groceries or gas, it pays to use one of these cards: Discover has no annual fee and a 5 percent cash-back each quarter, Chase Freedom also has no annual fee and also a 5 percent cash back on combined purchases over $1,500, so that’s an extra $75 for you. You’re not going to get rich using these cards, but it’s nice to make a little extra cash. Before you sign up for one of these cards, make sure to read the fine print and know what you’re signing up for—and never, ever use a credit card in these situations.

Rent your spare room

Turn your extra bed room into an income stream. No matter where you live, you can pocket extra cash by listing your place on Airbnb, which has over one million properties. Just make sure you know these super-important details before renting out your home. Post your property for free and determine the price point and duration of stay. Of course, you’ll want to set the price so that it covers your expenses, including utilities, taxes, and your rent. Read Airbnb’s guidelines which detail what’s expected from you. Here’s an added bonus: You generally don’t have to report your earnings as income if you rent your place for a maximum of two weeks a year. And after that, you’ll have to take into account tax considerations. Even still, if you charge $100 a night for 14 days a year, that’s $1,400 in additional revenue, which is nothing to shrug at.

Kabir Sehgal is the co-author of national bestseller Home: Where Everyone Is Welcome.

Become more interesting every week!

The Reader's Digest "Read Up" Newsletter

We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.